K2 Collecting Data

I saw this image of K2 again recently - K2 is the plan to keep the Kepler spacecraft looking for exoplanets despite the loss of two reaction wheels - and I wondered how K2 was doing. Last I heard it was still searching for a funding source for the new plan.

It turns out that K2 is already collecting data for “Field 0”, a sort of trial run to see how successful stabilization via solar wind can be. It’ll be looking in that area until May 30th when the data will be downloaded and analyzed for (hopefully) another run starting in June.

Here are some details about where K2 will be looking during its ~80 day campaigns. Proposals for what to watch during campaigns in 2015 and beyond are still up for debate, so if you’ve got a particular star you want to check for exoplanets now is your time to let the K2 project know.

Fri, May 16, 2014